This article is part of our Mound Musings series.
Before we start looking at bullpens, I want to mention something I am really looking forward to. Tonight, August 12, we get to watch the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees play a game in the middle of a cornfield in Iowa. It's a celebration of the amazing movie – Field of Dreams. That's what I'll be doing. It should be a pretty special night.
Bullpens can be constantly evolving
Okay, on with the subject at hand. The trading deadline has come and gone. We're in mid-August, so only about six or seven weeks to go in the 2021 regular season. And, pitching is getting thin. Winning and losing could hinge on which teams can cobble together an effective bullpen and make it to the finish line intact.
For fantasy teams, there could be points to pursue in the saves category. Closer roles are generally set for the best MLB teams, but there are a lot of teams that either didn't have a reliable closer, or traded their closer away at the deadline leaving a void in their bullpens. Ideally, teams prefer to have fairly specific roles with regard to their daily bullpen assignments. In a perfect world, the starting pitcher would provide six, or better yet, seven strong innings, whereupon the set-up guys would pitch the seventh and/or eighth inning before turning the game over to the closer to finish things. It just doesn't happen like that these days. That's why a typical bullpen has six